John Ware was born in 1845 was an African-American cowboy best remembered for his ability to ride and train horses and for bringing the first cattle to Southern Alberta in 1882, helping to create that province's important ranching industry. Ware was born into slavery on a plantation near Georgetown, South Carolina. After the American Civil War he left the Carolinas for Texas where he learned the skills of a rancher and became a cowboy. Ware's great stature and dedication to hard work made him a natural and allowed him to work his way up to Canada driving cattle from Texas to Montana and then into the great plains that would eventually become Alberta. Upon his arrival in Calgary he found work at the Bar U and Quorn ranches before starting his own ranch near the Red Deer river. By 1900, he and his wife, Mildred Lewis, had five children. He moved from the Calgary area to a spot northeast of the village of Duchess, Alberta. In 1902 his first home was destroyed by the spring flood. He rebuilt on higher ground overlooking a stream, now called Ware Creek. Three years later Mildred died of pneumonia in the spring; despite being a master horseman John was killed in the fall when his horse tripped in a badger hole crushing its rider and breaking his neck.
It is said that he was never tossed from a wild horse and that he popularized steer wrestling, which would then become a highlight of the Calgary Stampede. Born into slavery, Ware worked his way to being one of the most well-respected figures in frontier Alberta, crossing race lines thanks to his good nature and hard work.